Will GE Stock be Helped by Possible Vehicle Fleet Asset Sale?

NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- General Electric Co. (GE) is said to be in advanced talks with the Toronto-based financial services company Element Financial Corp. in order to sell assets in its $9 billion vehicle fleet management business, Bloomberg reports.

There has been no deal reached and it is possible that the discussions may fall apart. However, sources speaking with Bloomberg say GE is looking to come to terms on a sale by the end of the current quarter.

Through its GE Capital Fleet Services the company leases and manages 1.4 million autos and truck, mostly in the U.S., to large companies.

By selling that unit it would push forward GE's plan to unload of the majority of its financial segment.

GE CEO Jeffrey Immelt is looking to sell or spin off almost $200 billion of the company's commercial and consumer lending platforms while refocusing on GE's manufacturing operations, Bloomberg added.

Shares of GE are down by 0.49% to $27.55 in late afternoon trading on Tuesday.

Separately, TheStreet Ratings team rates GENERAL ELECTRIC CO as a Hold with a ratings score of C+. TheStreet Ratings Team has this to say about their recommendation:

"We rate GENERAL ELECTRIC CO (GE) a HOLD. The primary factors that have impacted our rating are mixed-some indicating strength, some showing weaknesses, with little evidence to justify the expectation of either a positive or negative performance for this stock relative to most other stocks. The company's strengths can be seen in multiple areas, such as its expanding profit margins and good cash flow from operations. However, as a counter to these strengths, we also find weaknesses including deteriorating net income, generally higher debt management risk and disappointing return on equity."

Highlights from the analysis by TheStreet Ratings Team goes as follows:

  • The gross profit margin for GENERAL ELECTRIC CO is rather high; currently it is at 51.25%. It has increased from the same quarter the previous year.
  • Net operating cash flow has increased to $6,090.00 million or 22.75% when compared to the same quarter last year. The firm also exceeded the industry average cash flow growth rate of 8.03%.
  • Regardless of the drop in revenue, the company managed to outperform against the industry average of 9.7%. Since the same quarter one year prior, revenues slightly dropped by 2.7%. Weakness in the company's revenue seems to have hurt the bottom line, decreasing earnings per share.
  • The debt-to-equity ratio is very high at 3.24 and currently higher than the industry average, implying increased risk associated with the management of debt levels within the company.
  • Current return on equity is lower than its ROE from the same quarter one year prior. This is a clear sign of weakness within the company. Compared to other companies in the Industrial Conglomerates industry and the overall market, GENERAL ELECTRIC CO's return on equity significantly trails that of both the industry average and the S&P 500.
  • You can view the full analysis from the report here: GE Ratings Report

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